top of page

Markus Aurelius Gets The Upset For His First Stakes Win In The Remington Park Distance Championship

Markus Aurelius, piloted by Stormy Smith, wins the $51,120 Remington Park Distance Championship Stakes [G1] by daylight on Saturday.

© Dustin Orona Photography/Remington Park

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK– JUNE 1, 2024Markus Aurelius, who just came off his first win of the season in an 870 allowance race seven days ago, returns to the Remington Park race track for his first stakes victory in the $51,120 Remington Park Distance Championship Stakes [G1] on Saturday. Surprisingly, it was only the second time in his career that Markus Aurelius had won at 870 yards, but the second time in a row.

The 870-yard race was virtually etched in stone that the heavy favorite O Donavan Rossa would be the hook champion, but he was no match for Markus Aurelius, who won the long-distance race by 1 3/4-lengths. Ridden by Stormy Smith, the son of Secret Circle clocked a 102 speed index in :44.920 seconds against a 5 mph headwind, which paid $21.00 for the slight upset on 9/1 odds.

Rock Ya Later popped out fourth from the gates, chased between in a mild rally for second with jockey Ali Rivera aboard. Post-time favorite O Donovan Rossa, ridden by Roman Cruz, placed third.

Trained by Clint Crawford, Markus Aurelius has four career wins, and the $29,892 winner's portion of tonight's purse adds to his lifetime earnings of $72,992. He placed fourth in the Remington Park Distance Challenge Stakes [G2] earlier in April.

Breeder Bobby Simmons owns Markus Aurelius in partnership with Catherine Simmons. The Texas-bred four-year-old gelding is out of Neons Miracle by Yawls Rabbit.

Runner-up Rock Ya Later has three career wins and placed third in the Remington Park Distance Challenge Stakes [G2]. The four-year-old gelding has earned $61,785 for his owner/trainer, Tammy Johnson of Rockin J Running Horses.

Rock Ya Later was bred by Melissa Slayton in Texas out of Dosvedanya by Separatist.

O Donavan Rossa broke his two-run stakes win streak for 2024 with the third-place finish. The six-year-old Dee Keener trained gelding has 12 career wins with $330,505 in the bank, including the Pauls Valley Stakes [G2] and Remington Park Distance Challenge Stakes [G2] this season.

The seven-time stakes winning son of Apollitical Jess was bred in Oklahoma by J Garvan Kelly. O Donavan Rossa is owned by Kelly Yother Equine, LLC and out of Shanachee by Country Chicks Man.

Rounding out the order of finish are Daycruiser, Big Lew Love, Volcoms Favorite, and R U Freal.


For additional information for breeding contract call Royal Vista Ranch farm manager Laura Erickson at (405) 449-7575.

Story and images courtesy of Stallion E Search.


bottom of page